The summer holidays are here! If you normally travel abroad, why not shake things up and stay close to home this year? Check out our list of 10 must-see places in Nigeria for some holiday inspiration: 1. Agbokim Waterfall, Cross River The Agbokim waterfall is made up of seven cascades pouring over a cliff – a truly spectacular sight. The best time to visit is between July to September. It is located near Ikom, in eastern Cross River State.
Image source 2. Nok Village, Kaduna The village of Nok in southern Kaduna State is home to evidence of Nigeria’s most ancient civilisation. In 1928, archaeologists working at the Samun Dukiya and Taruga sites discovered elaborate terracotta sculptures depicting humans in a wide variety of postures and ornamentation which dated as far back as 900BC, making them one of the oldest pieces of evidence of advanced African civilisations. Over the years, more figurines have been found across Nigeria’s northern and Middle Belt regions. Museums around the world and country exhibit Nok figurines, but the Nok village’s museum is a must-see, alongside a number of striking natural caves. Image source 3. Gurara Waterfall, Niger Located in Niger State along the Suleja-Minna road, the striking Gurara waterfall is one of the biggest in Nigeria. In the dry seasons, the waterfall slows down to allow tourists to swim in the pools at its base. In the rainy season, the two rivers which feed it become one and its power is amazing to behold. Photograph by Adolphus Opara 4. Ikogosi Springs, Ekiti Ekiti State's mysterious springs – one warm, one cold – flow beside each other but never mix. The site has been developed into a fun spot for visitors, with a conference centre, chalets for guests, a restaurant, and other facilities, but swimming in the springs and beholding the picturesque scenery of hills and valleys remain the site’s biggest attraction. Image source 5. Yankari Game Reserve, Bauchi The Yankari Game Reserve in Bauchi State is a beautiful refuge for over 50 mammal species, including the African buffalo, the olive baboon, roam antelope, Tantalus monkey, and hippopotamus. It is home to the largest population of elephants in West Africa, with an estimated 550 elephants living within the reserve. Image source 6. Nike Art Gallery, Lagos Nike Davies-Okundaye, the founder of the Nike Art Gallery, is famous for her tie-and-dye (adire) textiles. An advocate for Nigeria’s heritage textile culture and local talent, she has set up four art centres in Lagos, Osogbo, Ogidi (her home town), and Abuja where young Nigerians can learn traditional arts and crafts. The Nike Art Gallery is a magnificent 3-floor building on the Lekki Peninsula with over 7000 diverse pieces of art (including paintings, sculptures, and textiles) made by Nigerian artists. Image source 7. Olumirin Waterfall, Osun Situated in the town of Erin Ijesha in Osun State, Olumirin is a spectacular seven-level waterfall that cascades down a 40 metre-high cliff, ending in a shallow swimming pool for visitors. The falls is surrounded by towering mountains and at its top sits a village called Abake. Visitors can swim, rock climb, watch birds, and much more. Photograph by Adolphus Opara 8. Mbari Cultural Centre, Imo The Mbari Cultural Centre in the Imo State capital Owerri houses traditional arts, crafts, sculptures, and artefacts which tell the stories of the history and traditions of the Igbo people. Within the compound of the centre is an Mbari house (or “house of gods”), a sacred open-sided structure containing statues. Mbari houses were once an integral part of Igbo communities across south-eastern Nigeria and were built to appease the deities of Igbo mythology. One could take craftspeople up to ten years to build. Image source 9. Museum of Traditional Nigerian Architecture, Jos A part of the Jos Museum in Plateau State (the second oldest in Nigeria), the Museum of Traditional Nigerian Architecture is home to replicas many of Nigeria’s most famous architectural achievements, from the walls of the ancient Kano City and the Zaria Mosque to a Tiv village. Artefacts which tell the history of railway and tin mining in Nigeria are also on display. Image source 10. Azumini Blue River, Abia The Azumini river which flows between Abia and Akwa lbom states is is regarded as one of the cleanest and clearest water sources in Nigeria. It is a great relaxation spot with canoe rides, picnic facilities, and sandy beaches for visitors to enjoy. Legend has it that on rare occasions, the “Mami water” (mermaid) of West African folklore can be seen splashing in the beautiful river. Image source
Which places in Nigeria are your favourite to visit? Share with us in the comments!
Want to learn more about Nigeria's rich and diverse geography? Visit our Discover Nigeria section.